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Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Elvis Presley Lyrics Words & Music by Roy Turk and Lou Handman Elvis Presley Lyrics

'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' marks a startling change of direction: it is a slow-moving ballad, gentle, caring, beautifully sung, with the kind of voice Presley had already shown on 'Silent Night' - natural, unforced, dead in tune, and totally distinctive. This classic song is enhanced by the extended 'talking' section in the middle - a difficult procedure to bring off, but here, surrounded by echo, it succeeds.

Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley - A Study In Music, 1979.

Are you lonesome tonight,
do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day
When I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

I wonder if you're lonesome tonight
You know someone said that the world's a stage
And each must play a part.
Fate had me playing in love you as my sweet heart.
Act one was when we met, I loved you at first glance
You read your line so cleverly and never missed a cue
Then came act two, you seemed to change and you acted strange
And why I'll never know.
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me
And I had no cause to doubt you.
But I'd rather go on hearing your lies
Than go on living without you.
Now the stage is bare and I'm standing there
With emptiness all around
And if you won't come back to me
Then make them bring the curtain down.

Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

Recorded: 1960/04/03, first released on single

March 20, 1960 - At noon Elvis, his entourage, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana (But not Bill Black, who never plays with Elvis again) take a charted bus to Nashville for a session at RCA's Studio B, whose recoding facilities have been upgraded with a three track machine. The are joined by all the musicians from the June 1958 session, the Jordanaires, Colonel Parker and RCA's new chief studio engineer, Bill Porter.

Elvis records six songs (In true stereo for the first time) including 'Stuck On You' and 'Fame And Fortune' which will be pressed and shipped within two days as an urgently need new single.

The other songs will form part of his new album, with more sessions to follow in April.

March 20, 1960 RCA - Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

Make Me Know It L2WB 0081-19
Soldier Boy L2WB 0082-15

March 21, 1960 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

Stuck On You L2WB 0083-03
Fame & Fortune L2WB 0084-sp
A Mess Of Blues L2WB 0085-05
It Feels So Right L2WB 0086-05

Frank Sinatra & Elvis Presley 1960
Frank Sinatra & Elvis Presley 1960

On March 26, The Frank Sinatra-Timex Special Elvis Presley Photos , also known as Welcome Home Elvis is taped at 6.15pm for airing on May 12.

Colonel Parker had made the deal with the show's producers months before Elvis was released from active duty. He had hoped that appearing with Frank Sinatra would introduce Elvis as a pop singer to a wide audience made up of adults and pop enthusiasts as well as teenagers and country-western fans.

Never one to take chances, the Colonel made sure Elvis would make a big splash by packing the studio audience with 400 members from one of Elvis' biggest fan clubs. More on the show below.

The Frank Sinatra Timex Special - Welcome Home Elvis
Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami – 26.03.1960
Nelson Riddle Orchestra - Screening - May 12, 1960
Fame And Fortune
Stuck On You
Love Me Tender / Witchcraft (Duet Elvis and Sinatra)

April 3, Just two weeks after his first post army recording session, Elvis again boards a charted bus to return to Nashville. The same group of musicians is this time joined by saxophonist Boots Randolph.

April 3, 1960 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

Fever L2WB 0098-04
Like A Baby L2WB 0099-06
It's Now Or Never L2WB 0100-sp

April 4, 1960 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

The Girl Of My Best Friend L2WB 0101-10
Dirty Dirty Feeling L2WB 0102-04
Thrill Of Your Love L2WB 0103-03
I Gotta Know L2WB 0104-02
Such A Night L2WB 0105-05
Are You Lonesome Tonight? L2WB 0106-05
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (work Part) ____-02
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (composite) L2WB 0106-sp
The Girl Next Door Went A' Walking L2WB 0107-04
I Will Be Home Again L2WB 0108-04
Reconsider Baby L2WB 0109-02

April 5, 1960 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

It's Now Or Never (overdub) L2WB 0100

Elvis Is Back LP 1960
Elvis Is Back LP 1960

April 8, Again RCA has rushed the session tapes to the pressing plant, and just four days after the session the LP, Elvis Is Back, is shipped. It's gatefold album of army snapshots has been printed in advance, and the titles of the subsequently recorded songs appear on a sticker on the front cover.

Elvis Is Back represents a peak in Elvis' career, when his maturity and confidence led to a control and focus in his music. Like the pre-army Elvis recordings, this album offered an eclectic collection of musical genres, from a sentimental duet with Charlie Hodge called 'I Will Be Home Again' to the gritty 'Reconsider Baby' with a bluesy sax solo by Boots Randolph. Once again, Elvis' talent for unifying disparate styles of music resulted in an innovative and successful album, and it reached No. 2 on the charts.

Not all the songs that Elvis recorded in Nashville were included on the Elvis Is Back album. RCA held back for later release two of his highly acclaimed ballads: 'It's Now or Never' and 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' along with the follow-up 'Surrender'. The melancholy tune 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' was a clear departure from the kind of music that Elvis sang before he went into the army.

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